7th Grade Required Courses
Description of Courses
Texas history is a course of study encompassing the stories of people, events, and institutions from the state's earliest civilizations to the modern day. These integral components of Texas history are combined with the study of geography and its themes to relate the stories of events and the relationships between people and places in all phases of the state's development. Students achieve an understanding of how and why events occurred, a comprehension of the historical significance of events, and the ability to relate past events to daily living in modern times.
Science 7 focuses on life science. This course is a continuation of content mastered in 6th grade. Students will expand their knowledge of matter & energy, by investigating organic compounds and the role of digestion in living systems, and the concepts of force & motion as it relates to work. Students will study the variety of objects that are found in our solar system, and the characteristics of a planet that support life. Additionally, students will examine the living and non-living components of our planet, and study how weathering and erosion shape our planet. Lastly, utilizing a variety of activities students will study interactions between organisms and their environment, biodiversity, taxonomy, human body systems, and genetics.
The course stresses the mastery of the seventh grade language and literacy objectives. Students read and study a variety of fiction and nonfiction, building on an understanding of reading as a process that includes analyzing and comprehending texts. Through varied and frequent writing assignments, students build on their understanding of writing as a process that includes drafting, revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing. The writing includes journal entries, essays, poetry, a major research project, and original compositions. Reading, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar are integrated into student writing. Higher-level critical thinking skills are emphasized throughout the year.
Highly independent and motivated students who excel in English skills will expand upon the English curriculum and integrate with extensive writing the study of fiction and nonfiction, independent writing, complex language skills, and research. Composition projects include poetry, essays, journal entries, a major research report, and original writing. Higher-level critical thinking skills are emphasized throughout the year. The Pre -AP student should have self-discipline, be self-directed, and enjoy reading and writing.
Students are enrolled in math according to the next math sequence. See the "Math Course" tab to find the math sequence.
Students who sign up for any of the band classes will remain in the course all year. Placement in specific ensembles will be determined by the campus director and will occur in May. Purchase of supplies and uniform is required for all band classes.
Requires no prior experience. Emphasis is placed on basic tone production, instrumental technique and music reading.
Concert band is the intermediate ensemble for those who have completed at least one year of beginning band. Emphasis is placed on refining ensemble playing skills and developing individual performance skills. Students are expected to participate in some pep rallies, football games, formal concerts, solo & ensemble and the Spring Trip. Students are expected to participate in a weekly help session held before or after school.
Symphonic band is the most-advanced ensemble for those who have completed at least one year of beginning band. Emphasis is placed on refining ensemble playing skills and developing individual performance skills; however, performance expectations and instruction are more rigorous than in Concert Band. In addition to the performance opportunities listed for Concert Band, these students will participate in several additional performances and are expected to audition for the TMEA All-District Band . Students are expected to participate in a weekly help session held before or after school.
A full-year course, at least one year’s experience in a school band program is required. This ensemble is for advanced players auditioning at the region level. Attention is given to advanced ensemble techniques and skills of good ensemble playing, in addition to developing and refining individual playing skills for advancement to the high school level. Placement is based on a taped audition and directors’ evaluation of the student’s playing skills.
Jazz band is open to any 7th or 8th grade student who is concurrently enrolled in another band, choir or orchestra class. All instruction will take place during the class period. Students will develop technical, theoretical and improvisational skills inherent in modern jazz and pop music. Performance opportunities are dependent upon the instrumentation of the students enrolled.
Placement is at the recommendation of the Choir director. All members will participate at the region level in UIL competition and are encouraged to participate in the TMEA All-Region Choir. Note: Purchase of supplies and a choir gown or uniform is required.
Concert and Honor Treble Choir
Open to all seventh and eighth grade girls. Previous music experience is helpful, but not required. Students will receive training in music skills and healthy vocal production while singing a variety of musical styles. Opportunities for public performance both on and off campus as well as participation in UIL are offered. Students will participate in 4 evening performances through the year. An audition is not required, but highly recommended for placement.
Tenor Bass Choir
Open to all seventh and eighth grade boys. Previous music experience is helpful, but not required. Students will receive training in music skills and healthy vocal production while singing a variety of musical styles. Opportunities for public performance both on and off campus as well as participation in UIL are offered. Students will participate in 4 evening performances through the year. An audition is not required, but highly recommended for placement.
Varsity Treble Choir
Open to seventh and eighth grade girls by audition. Students must have a minimum of one year experience in West Ridge Choir. Emphasis is placed on advanced music skills, further development of the voice, and singing a wide variety of challenging music. Many opportunities for public performance both on and off campus are offered. Participation in UIL, All-Region Choir, and a spring music festival are required.
Varsity Mixed Choir
Open to seventh and eighth grade girls and boys by audition. Previous music experience is required. Students will receive training in music skills, healthy vocal production, and further development of the voice while singing a variety of music styles. Opportunities for public performance both on and off campus are offered. As well, participation in UIL, All-Region Choir, and a spring music festival are offered and required.
Note: Purchase of supplies and a uniform is required.Placement is at the recommendation of the Orchestra director
Beginning Orchestra is for all students who have never played a string instrument before and includes instruction on violin, viola, cello, bass or harp. The campus orchestra teacher will assist in the selection of the specific instrument.
Concert Orchestra is the intermediate orchestra for 7th and 8th grade students with at least one year of experience in beginning orchestra. Instruction emphasizes tone production, instrumental technique, music reading, personal responsibility and collaboration with other musicians. Students are expected to participate in concerts, assemblies, UIL contest, solo & ensemble, a spring trip and several after school rehearsals.
Sinfonia Orchestra is the advanced orchestra for 7th and 8th grade students with at least one year experience in beginning orchestra. Emphasis is on technique, music reading and collaboration; however, performance expectations and instruction are more rigorous than the Concert Orchestra. These students will have several performances in addition to the participation expectations listed above for Concert Orchestra members
IMPORTANT: Any student, boy or girl, in an Athletic period is required to have completed the following prior to participation in an Athletic class and/or on a team:
1. A current Physical on file dated on or after May 1st and prior to the first day of school. The Physical Form must be on the school required form which can be found on the Athletics page on the school website.
2. Paid the athletics fees:
$275: fee for a team sport or more than one sport. The max is $275 no matter how many sports (could be one group sport, multiple group sports, a group sport + individual sport (s), etc).
$200: fee for ONE individual sport only (golf, tennis, track, or cross country)
This one semester course allows boys to play football, basketball, track or off-season sports and competitions. Students who do not make teams must remain in the class and participate in off-season activities and competitions. Athletic uniform is required ($45). This course can be registered for 2 semesters if the student chooses the course for fall and spring semesters. In order to try out for the Boys Basketball, you must be enrolled in Athletics for BOTH 1st and 2nd semesters.
This one semester course allows girls to play volleyball, basketball, track or off-season sports and competitions.. Students who do not make teams must remain in the class and participate in off-season activities and competitions. Athletic uniform is required ($55). This course can be registered for 2 semesters if the student chooses the course for both fall and spring semesters. In order to try out for the Girls Basketball, you must be enrolled in Athletics for BOTH 1st and 2nd semesters.
Note: Cross-country, golf, tennis, and soccer are sports available before or after school as set up by the coach. Students in these sports are not required to sign up for an Athletics class. However, students will only receive PE credit through Athletics or a PE Waiver.
Introduction to Latin with emphasis on general language skills, especially reading and pronunciation fluency, grammatical forms mastery, and vocabulary building. This is an academic elective. Satisfactory completion of Latin 7 and 8 allows the student to take Latin II in the ninth grade and earn 1 high school credit for Latin 7 and 8. Students must pass each individual semester in order to continue in class. Recommended for students with a B+ average or better in English and who will devote 15 to 20 minutes to homework each night.
Introduction to Spanish with emphasis on all skills: speaking, listening, writing, and reading. This is an academic elective. Satisfactory completion of Spanish 7 and 8 allows the student to take Spanish II in the ninth grade and earn 1 high school credit for Spanish 7 and 8. Students must pass each individual semester in order to continue in class. Recommended for students with a B+ average or better in English and who will devote 15 to 20 minutes to homework each night..
Introduction to Chinese with emphasis on all skills: speaking, listening, writing, and reading. This is an academic elective. Satisfactory completion of Chinese 7 and 8 allows the student to take Chinese II in the ninth grade and earn 1 high school credit for Chinese 7 and 8. Students must pass each individual semester in order to continue in class. Recommended for students with a B+ average or better in English and who will devote 15 to 20 minutes to homework
Introduction to French with emphasis on all skills: speaking, listening, writing, and reading. This is an academic elective. Satisfactory completion of French 7 and 8 allows the student to take French II in the ninth grade and earn 1 high school credit for French 7 and 8. Students must pass each individual semester in order to continue in class. Recommended for students with a B+ average or better in English and who will devote 15 to 20 minutes to homework each night.
A year-long course where students-staff are responsible for creating the WRMS yearbook. They will create and design the theme, page design formations, photographs, interviews, stories, photo captions, and marketing/sales. Each year the yearbook staff creates a 130+ page school yearbook with annual sales to over 750 students. Ideal candidates are organized, responsible, creative self-starters with strong writing and photography skills. Yearbook students must be able to work independently in order to meet deadlines, function under pressure, work well with others and attend extracurricular events outside of the school day. Students may need their own transportation to and from events as needed to complete yearbook page assignments. Students will participate in approximately three work nights throughout the year designed to assist in meeting publisher requirements. Students must be available occasionally at night and on weekends to cover certain school events. Students are expected to remain in the course for the full year.
This one semester elective will allow students an opportunity to explore a variety of topics such as philosophy, law, and engineering, and utilize advanced critical and creative thinking skills.
This 7th and 8th grade art studio course concentrates on the art techniques of both two dimensional and three dimensional art. Students will explore a LARGE variety of ideas and creative expression drawn from the imagination, art history, art careers, and various cultures. This Visual Art class will take the student from drawing to painting, printmaking, perspective, three-dimensional works, computer graphics, and textiles. New technologies are enthusiastically explored with each project. When creating art, students will rely on their perceptions of the environment to develop an increased visual awareness and sensitivity to their surroundings, memory, imagination, and life experiences. The environment of this class is one of cooperative learning, a high level of creative activity and personal responsibility. The course may be repeated as the curriculum is different each semester, offering a wide range of creative learning. This course develops the skill of making informed judgments and evaluations on works of art. Visual Art is a way of encouraging a creative approach to life necessary for invention and problem solving in a variety of situations. Art teaches creative thinking. Students will be expected to acquire and keep a sketchbook. There will be a $15.00 supply fee for consumables for this class.
Students will be challenged to use problem solving techniques and higher-level thinking skills along with creative design to produce animations and games using a variety of programs. Skills refined within this class will enable students to be confident, efficient and successful when given technology based assignments.
This course is designed to introduce students to some of the more sophisticated programs such as Photoshop, Flash, In-Design and will include basic HTML used in designing web sites. Students will learn to use tools from a variety of applications to create detailed graphic designs, manipulate photographic images, create web pages and incorporate HTML effects. This class will help students develop multi-faceted computer skills and, in addition, prepare them to make more informed choices when selecting high school courses.
This hands-on, project based course allows students to get creative in the classroom while developing problem-solving skills. This class uses STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) based activities to develop critical thinking skills and collaboration amongst the students. Students will explore areas of Coding, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Aided Design and Drafting, and Digital Electronics.
MAPS is a one semester course offered to 7th & 8th grade students that focuses on the skills necessary for students to be successful. Essential knowledge and skills include: time management, goal setting, organizational skills, study skills/habits, attitude, resilience, and character education. Mini lessons will also include an introduction to Westlake High School. Limited availability at administrative discretion.
This elective gives students an opportunity to support students with disabilities in a variety of settings. Students taking this class would have a chance to be a peer buddy and to model appropriate social behavior. It is an opportunity to build valuable lasting friendships.
The seventh and eighth grade P.E. class will include a variety of individual, team and lifetime sports. Recreational class games such as hoop house capture the flag and prison ball will be played. The state mandated physical fitness test will also be administered. A P.E. uniform is required ($20).
The seventh and eighth grade P.E. class will include a variety of individual, team and lifetime sports. Recreational class games such as hoop house, capture the flag and prison ball will be played. The state mandated physical fitness test will also be administered. This elective gives students the opportunity to support cognitively disabled students in a small specialized PE class. PE credit is awarded if not in Athletics or PE. A P.E. uniform is required ($20).
This one semester STEM course provides students with the opportunity to explore the content areas of mechanical engineering and computer science through curriculum based challenges. Students will engage in basic coding processes to help develop logic and sequential processing, as well as, developing knowledge utilizing the engineering design process. This course will utilize Vex IQ and Lego EV3 hardware. This course is meant to scaffold for Robotics 2 and further participation in high school robotics.
This one semester STEM course provides students the opportunity to expand their basic knowledge and skills into a competition format. The class is designed to develop deeper understanding of syntax based coding and advanced building with minor fabrication. This class utilizes Vex EDR hardware. Prerequisites for Robotics 2 are completion of Robotics 1 with a grade of 90 or above on the Robotics I Engineering Notebook or prior school club competitions (instructor approval required).
Teen Skills is a hands-on course offered to both 7th and 8th grade students. This course equips students with the skills needed for a healthy/successful life. Students learn basic cooking techniques, including the preparation of a variety of foods, principles of good nutrition, food safety and sanitation, meal planning, and consumer skills such as determining the best buy, understanding calories and food labels. Basic hand and machine sewing skills are taught through the construction of clothing and accessories. Students enjoy an introduction to the Elements and Principles of Design in addition to a study of clothing selection and care, fabrics, notions, as well as the importance of making a good first impression. Teen Skills may be taken in 7th grade and again in the 8th grade.
There will be a $15 supply fee for consumables for this class.
Come explore the backstage magic to be found in this design/technical class! This course involves learning about the design process for costumes, sets and lighting. The class also takes on building and painting projects to support the plays performed by the West Ridge Drama department and other special projects. This class is open to seventh and eighth graders and may be taken in conjunction with Theatre Arts. This is a one-semester course that may be repeated with instructor approval.
Theatre Arts is open to all 7th and 8th grade students. It builds on the background of creative dramatics learned in 6th grade while developing self-confidence and sensory/emotional awareness through the use of movement, vocal expression, improvisation, and dramatization. Students will participate in a variety of dramatic activities including theatre games and development of a one act play.
Come join the West Ridge TV/news team next year! This is a semester course offering instruction in writing, directing, producing, anchoring, technical directing, and much more. Students will write, direct, and star in the TV news program. The course includes an introduction to the principles, practices, procedures, and equipment utilized to produce broadcast quality news and interviews. In addition, news segments and information may be published on the school’s news website.
prerequisite: Computer Animations and Gaming, Computer Graphics and Web Design, Design and Technology, or Robotics I
This course is designed to help students build a solid foundation in programming fundamentals using Swift and/or Java as the language. Students will get practical experience with the tools, techniques, and concepts needed to build basic iOS/Android apps from scratch. Students will also learn user interface design principles, which are fundamental to programming and making great apps. Prior programming experience is not required for this course. If you have programming experience, you can move through the early lessons quickly as you continue to learn about software development tools, concepts, and best practices that go beyond programming fundamentals.
*Pending Board Approval on January 23, 2018